Sophomores’ Reflections on First Semester

Sophomores Katherine Lopez, Aleah Brown, Astha Patel, Louise Lima, and Cassandra Kuissi smile wide during the homecoming pep rally. Photo by ISP.

It’s been a little over a month since first semester ended. For sophomores in particular, the past semester has been eye-opening in everything from their academic to residential lives. It has been a semester of trials and tribulations, of testing and of being tested, and, ultimately, of discovery and determination.

I asked four sophomores to tell me about what they’ve learned over the past semester, what they’ve enjoyed about IMSA, and their general experience. Here’s what I found.

When asked about her experience over the past semester, Liana Koleva ’19 responds, “To be honest, I felt very unprepared coming into IMSA because everything had been easy before. But over the course of the last few months, I’ve learned a lot about IMSA and about myself and I feel a lot more prepared going into second semester!”

Similarly, when asked to reflect on first semester, Eva Liu ’19 says, “I think that first semester was a nice eye-opener for me. I learned a lot of new things both inside and outside the classroom, and even though being at IMSA was stressful at times, it was overall a really great semester.” 

A big point the sophomores make is the academic culture shock upon arrival.

Charlotte Giff ’19 speaks on the various realizations she’s made over the past few months. “First, I learned that procrastination was somehow inevitable. I also learned that pretty much everyone is deprived of Vitamin D because of a lack of windows and time outdoors,” Giff says.

She continues on about what the community means to her. She says, “I learned that IMSA is an amazing place to build a community of friends and work together with them on schoolwork and other activities. Of everything IMSA offers, this is probably the most important.”

Even with the new pressures of sophomore year pushing students to their limits, Giff claims the community makes it all worthwhile. “IMSA is tough, it stresses you out, and it can make you think that you are not good enough, but it’s also amazing. It allows you to gain the best friends, have the closest relationships, and it teaches you the value of teamwork and hard work.”

Shaun Bhurgri ’19 also noted that his favorite part about IMSA was the community, stating, “I love the welcoming environment and always being around my friends.”

Ultimately, it’s the tight knit community IMSA students should be most grateful for. Whether this first semester went well for you or not, remind yourself to continue learning, failing, succeeding, and everything in between. Your time here will help you discover who you are and where you’ll go!

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